Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Guess the Season!

Pretty pink flowers:
Pretty yellow flowers that look like forsythia, but are, upon closer inspection:
Pretty purple flowers and a white rose in front of a funky tree:
The funky tree is called a "monkey puzzle tree." At first, I thought it was a cactus of some sort, but on closer inspection, it also seemed a bit like a pine. The authoritative Wikipedia says the latter.

I took these pictures while walking this past Sunday, wrapped in leggings, warm-up pants, leg warmers (don't judge! You would, too!), a t-shirt, a turtle neck, a thermal lined sweat shirt with hood up, a cat burglar stocking cap, gloves, and a thick scarf. The temperature was in the low 40s (Fahrenheit). My body is sometimes a little confused here because my eyes see the flowers, my skin feels the cold, but my head says "it's Christmas time so the weather should be colder."

Nonetheless, I've grown to like even the dreary days; although I do resist the urge, on those dreary days, to hop on a train with a bag of sugary comfort food, and ride around the country listening to audiobooks and knitting all day -- or at least all of the above minus the train ride. I've learned to embrace the dreary coldness and pull it about me like a wool comforter, which it resembles. In fact, sometimes an actual wool comforter helps! Sometimes, acceptance is the only way to hold off the depression because fighting the grey will only frustrate you and send you into the pit of futility.

The grey also makes such surprises as flowers in December ever the brighter.

By the way, we just had snow. Snow and flowers in December!


Susan said...

Aren't monkey puzzle trees cool?

Clio Bluestocking said...

I love them! Do you think they would grow in the Burned Over District?

Ink said...

So purty! I had never heard of a monkey puzzle tree. And now I want one.

The pic, with the purpley ones in front, should be a book cover of yours. In the future. COOL.

Susan said...

According to Wikipedia, it grows in mountains with heavy snow, so probably....

Clio Bluestocking said...

Ink: well, thank you! I wonder if I could PhotoShop in the Big Guy and use it for this current book?

I had never heard of one before and fell in love with them, myself, too.

Susan: hmmmm... the Burned Over District doesn't have BIG mountains, and it has tons of snow, so perhaps it might be worth a try -- as long as it doesn't require too much fussy care.

Now, I'm wondering how my succulents are surviving back there.

Contingent Cassandra said...

The pretty yellow flowers are winter jasmine, I think (they grow in sheltered locations in the mid-Atlantic US, usually bloom in the winter/early spring).

And I've heard of but never met/seen a monkey puzzle tree. Very cool, indeed. And I'd love to know what the purple flowers in front are -- perhaps a salvia of some sort?

There's a classic English gardening book by Rosemary Verey entitled "The Garden in Winter" that has a chapter (or at least a short section) on Christmas bouquets (posies, I think she calls them). The idea is to see what one can gather on 12/25 -- often some late roses or early snowdrops, perhaps a hellebore or two, colorful and/or evergreen foliage. It looks like one could gather a fairly nice Christmas posy in Ireland.


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